Inaugural convo

THE love and devotion shown by her father, M. Suberamaniam, who worked as a taxi driver by day and a singer in pubs at night, kept S. Anuradha’s desire to become a doctor burning strong.

With the encouragement from her father, Anuradha, 25, from Ulu Tiram, Johor, finally earned her MBBS degree from MIC’s AIMST University in Semeling, Kedah, at its inaugural convocation on Oct 15.

Anuradha was among 22 recipients of awards for outstanding academic results from a total of 319 students who graduated from the university.

Elated students (from left) Zhi Shen, Anuradha, Lingeswari and Aida looking at the medals they receivedfrom the university.

“I am overwhelmed. I am really glad that I made my parents happy.

“I can’t help but be grateful to my 55-year-old father who held two jobs just to provide for the family,” she said.

“Since my primary school days, I have wanted to become a doctor and my goal is now achieved,” said Anuradha, who has been doing her housemanship at Malacca Hospital for the past six months.

Anuradha, whose sister, Punitha, 22, is doing a degree in banking and finance at Multimedia University in Malacca, plans to do her Masters in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the United Kingdom.

Information technology graduate, C. Lingeswari, 24, also saw her dream fulfilled when she achieved what she promised her father, V. Chandra, three years ago.

She had said that she would become the university’s best student and this she did, with the university conferring her the Gold Medal award.

“Before I joined the university, I told my father, who works as a warden at Penang prison, that I would graduate as the best student and I worked hard towards this goal.

Anuradha (second from right) proudly showing her award to (from left) her sister, mother and father.

“I am thankful to God that I have made my father proud,” she said.

“I want to pursue my PhD in Universiti Sains Malaysia and become a professor one day. I have long set my heart on venturing into research,” said Lingeswari, who scored a 3.9 cumulative grade point average (CGPA).

According to Lingeswari, the government allows students with a CGPA of 3.8 and above to skip the masters programme and pursue their doctorate straightaway.

Overwhelmed by his daughter’s success, Chandra said: “I have no words to describe how I feel about my daughter’s achievement.”

For Aida Nur Sharini Mohd Shah, 33, from Petaling Jaya, who is married and has a six-year old son Mohd Ikhwan Hanafi, the graduation ceremony saw her childhood dream of becoming a doctor fulfilled.

Aida was pregnant with her first child when she enrolled for the course.

“Being pregnant and doing a medical programme at the same time was really tough,” she said.

It’s all thanks to you, mum, says Aida (right).

She almost stopped pursuing her programme when her second son, Izzudeen, who was then a year old, died three years ago.

“With encouragement from fellow coursemates, lecturers and family members, I gained enough strength to complete my degree course,” said Aida, who is currently also doing housemanship at Malacca Hospital.

Her husband, Dr Mahayuddin Abdul Manab, 33, is a trainee lecturer in Nuclear Medicine at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, while her brother, Dr Azarisman Shah, is a cardiologist at International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). Aida plans to to pursue her masters in medicine locally.

Teoh Wuen Yew, 26, who secured a B. Sc (Hons) Biotechnology degree after a three-year course at AIMST was also among the 22 recipients of awards for outstanding academic results.

Teoh, who hails from Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, said he is currently pursuing his masters in microbiology at Universiti Malaya. The programme will take about two to three years to complete.

“I wish to pursue my PhD but have not decided what field to go into yet. I plan to do it overseas,” said Teoh, the oldest among three siblings.

His father Teoh Seong Shing, 56, is a salesman with a pharmaceutical company in Kuala Lumpur while his mother, Chiew Fong Leng, 48, is a housewife.

For Aung Zhi Shen, 24, who obtained a degree in materials technology and management, it was double joy as his sister, Shuh Wen, 27, also graduated with him from AIMST with a degree in biotechnology.

His father, Aung Kim Sam, 63, and mother Ooi Siaw Heoh, 50, both hawkers, had always wanted the two siblings to excel in their studies.

“I am glad we lived up to their expectations. I plan to do my masters degree in physics overseas,” said Zhi Shen, who is currently working as an engineer in a manufacturing company in Johor.

Of the 319 students who graduated, 102 obtained their degrees in medicine, 182 in biotechnology and 35 in information technology.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was conferred the Honorary Degree of Letters during the convocation in recognition of his commitment and achievement in various fields throughout his political career. He was also proclaimed the university’s chancellor.

In his speech, Samy Vellu said the success of AIMST was due to MIC’s bold vision in creating a world-class university.

“It is the joint effort between the government and Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIC’s educational arm) that contributed to AIMST’s success,” he said.

University vice-chancellor Prof Geoffrey Smith said that parents who enrolled their children in AIMST three to five years ago were initially worried whether the university would be a recognised institution of higher learning.

“I am sure you are all proud of the university’s success today,” he said.

AIMST, which was officially opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Aug 17 this year, first established its temporary campus at Amanjaya in Sungai Petani in January 2001 before moving to its present campus at Semeling last year.

It currently has 2,150 undergraduates pursuing degree courses in medicine and health sciences, dentistry, pharmacy, biotechnology, information technology, engineering and computer technology, applied sciences and business and management.